Melaleuca Environmental Park has been created by The Melaleuca Park Community Association in the late 1980s by clearing the area of exotic grass and replanting with native plants. The work continues with the Melaleuca Environment Park Bushcare Group, part of the Bayside Creek Catchment Group .
The environmental park is 22 hectares set in the Lota Creek catchment area. Restoring the reserve with native vegetation has created an environment for the return of native animals.
There are a few spots you can enter the reserve, the main entry is on Clifton St in Lota, near Brisbane’s Manly. It is a lovely spot in itself with a children’s playground, picnic tables with one under a shelter, water bubbler and tap for dogs, and space to run around.
You could easily just hang around here, take in the quiet space away from busy roads and enjoy the company of your family and friends.
With 22ha of reserve and walking trails to follow, those inclined can go for a wonderful walk through the bushland. Some of the trails are wide and clearly defined to follow, though there are a couple of narrower and rougher tracks to follow if you prefer walking through more dense vegetation.
Being dog friendly, it is a great place to take the furry family member too. Dogs do have to be on a leash though. There are also some trails that allow horses but you need to enter at different spots.
Walk south beyond the playground and you will come across a walking track to the left and another further on as well. The first will take you to a large open field, probably big enough for a soccer field or two.
The large open field is more or less central to the environmental park and there are a few tracks that come onto it. Most of the tracks head out to the boundary but some wind around in the bush.
The vegetation is fairly similar throughout but there are differences. The eastern side (the entry is on the north-western side) is a drier forest compared to the wetter bush along the creek that runs through the western side of the park.
The south-eastern section has a large cane field. One of the tracks follows along two sides of the field which winds down the southern part of the reserve. If you are in the open field, head to the south west corner and follow the track south. The cane field is about 100 metres down the track.
The area west of the open field is where the smaller walking trails are. These are the ones I find most interesting with the bush more enclosed and almost like walking through a rainforest.
The Melaleuca Environmental Park is clearly used regularly by locals with several dog walkers passed while we were exploring the tracks. Whether you are a local or a visitor, the reserve is an interesting location to enjoy, wither it is for an outing with the family, a romantic stroll through nature, or a place to walk the dog.
To Get There
From Manly Visitor Information Centre, head out on to the Esplanade and turn left heading south. Follow for 1.8km and turn right into Alexander St. Follow Alexander St (becoming Hides St) for 1km to the end and turn left into Whites Rd. Follow Whites Rd for 300m, then turn right into Herbert St with the brown sign for Melaleuca Environmental Park. Follow Herbert St 550m to the end and turn left into Empire Ave. After 100m, Empire Ave veers around to the right into Clifton St and the entrance to the park is on the left.